“Everybody likes to buy things but no one likes to be sold” is not a new expression, but what does it really mean? People want to feel like they are making their own decisions, yet at the same time, people like having an expert who will help them make an educated decision rather than sell them.

So, how do you do that? The answer is not to use your grandfather’s selling skill of persuasion, which uses tricky steps and questions that can make customers feel like they are being trapped. At the same time, it is not a passive “information dump” that gives a customer a lot of information, but removes control from the sales professional. The key is using “influential selling skills,” a well-planned strategy that allows sales professionals to truly understand the customer by creating likeability, trust and influence. It should have the feel of a comfortable and casual conversation. This is a very simple concept in theory, but, make no mistake, it’s not that easy to pull off! There are three things that every sales professional must know and do to keep customers from feeling like they are being sold.

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